The board members of Tourism Ireland took the opportunity to meet with a group of tourism industry representatives from the South-West before their May board meeting, which was held in Randles Hotel in Killarney.
Ciara Boyle, Vice Chairperson of Tourism Ireland, said that the meeting in Killarney afforded her and the other members of the Tourism Ireland board a valuable opportunity to meet with people working in tourism in the South-West. “We are delighted to hold our board meeting in Killarney and to have this opportunity to meet representatives from the industry here. The global recession is biting hard on Irish tourism and we are very much aware that 2009 will be an extremely challenging year for everyone working in the industry. Our commitment in Tourism Ireland is to market through the challenges, working closely with our industry partners; to fight for every piece of business that is out there to be won and to convert interest in Ireland into actual travel and solid bookings.”
In 2009 Tourism Ireland is maintaining its focus on front-line marketing overseas, to drive home the fantastic range of value for money offers available. Ms Boyle continued: “Tourism Ireland is undertaking the most integrated and concerted marketing effort ever for the island of Ireland in our overseas markets. We are actively responding to the current difficult trading conditions by communicating strongly to the consumer that the island of Ireland is a great place to visit, is easily accessible and offers the consumer tremendous value for money.”
The group also discussed the major conference which will take place in Killarney later on this year – the 2009 DerTour Reiseakademie (Travel Academy). A coalition of Tourism Ireland in Germany, Killarney hoteliers and other tourism interests convinced leading Germany tour operator DerTour to hold its annual travel academy in Killarney; it is a major event that will bring approximately 650 travel agents and more than 100 travel industry executives to the South West for training and education in November.
Ciara Boyle said: "Hosting the DerTour Travel Academy is a fantastic opportunity to increase tourism business from Germany to Killarney and the South West. The DerTour Travel Academy has a history of significantly increasing visitors to the host destination; last time this event took place here, business from DerTour to the island of Ireland increased by +31% in the following year. It will allow us to showcase this part of Ireland as a tourist destination of choice for German visitors. The South West has a wealth of tourism offerings which hold huge appeal for German visitors.”
Pictured before the Tourism Ireland board meeting in Killarney are (l-r) Paul O’Toole, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland; Conor Hennigan, The Malton Hotel Killarney; Moira McNamara Tourism Ireland board member; and Simon Gregory, Tourism Ireland.
Sinéad Grace, Tourism Ireland, tel: 01 476 3493/ 087 685 9027
Note to Editors:
• Tourism Ireland is the organisation responsible for promoting the island of Ireland overseas as a leading holiday destination.
• Tourism Ireland’s international website is www.discoverireland.com – there are 41 different websites, providing information in 19 different languages covering every continent; in 2008 discoverireland.com attracted a record 10.3 million unique visitors, a +54% increase in visits on 2007.